those are some nice buns you've got there...
nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread baking...
now, getting back to those buns...lookin' good
perfectly soft and wonderful
and multi-grain too, oooohhh...
adapted from The Little Book of Big Sandwiches
by Michael McLaughlin
makes 16 buns, 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 8 buns
1 1/2 cup buttermilk(or regular milk)
1 cup slightly warm water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
about 5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
in a mixing bowl, mix the buttermilk, water, butter, sugar, salt and yeast. allow it to stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. stir in about 4 cups of the flour and mix to form a somewhat sticky dough. you can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead this by hand or use a stand mixer, either way, continue to add flour as needed to form a soft dough. continue mixing until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, coating it completely with oil, cover it and allow it to rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
punch the dough down and turn it out onto a cutting board. cut it in half and form two loaves by flattening the pieces into rectangles. roll up the dough, starting on the short side and form a thick log. place the dough logs into 2 greased 9x5x3 inch pans, cover and allow to rise until it comes just above the top of the pan. bake in a preheated 375 oven until golden on top and bottom, about 45 minutes. remove from pan and cool on rack completely before slicing.
to make buns, divide the dough into 4 ounce pieces or for those without scales, cut it in half, then in half again and continue this until you have 16 even pieces. shape them by rolling into tight buns by placing the dough in your hands and moving in a circular motion on the table/counter top until the bun is smooth and no visible seams show. place 8 buns on a pan that has been generously sprinkled with cornmeal. allow to rise until double and bake in a 400 degree preheated oven until golden all over.
to make a multi grain version, replace 2 cups of the flour with a combination of whole wheat, rolled oats and multi-grain hot cereal such as hodgson mills. to improve the texture of the multi grain bread, you can also use a bread flour in place of the all purpose flour.
and if you need me, i will be in the kitchen with my new friend...